Personal finance is a very big topic. You can say that anything that got to do with money is personal finance. You probably got your first financial lesson from your parents, who handed you the first dollar to spend.

For me, I’ve personally learned about financial stuff through many ways. My parents are not affluent. The biggest lesson I learned from them is to live frugally and always spend less than I earn. As I was studying in university, I started to pick up books on personal finance niche and later on got myself involved professionally in this field.

Now the question is how do you learn more about this topic? And what is the method you can apply to improve your financial literacy?

Let’s start with something easy and free. With the growth of the Internet and the number of websites, you get to connect to the “net” practically anywhere anytime. Coupled with the growth of Google, you can pretty much search a lot of free information out there.

Some people say that knowledge is power and now information is freely available when more internet users are sharing ideas and making more in-depth discussion. It is really convenient to find info. But the problem of information overload arises.

Other than this, you can also ask the people around you for free advice.
When info is free, who is going to judge whether the info is valid or not?
It is also how you organize the info that determines whether it is practical and valuable.

So as people are overwhelmed with free load of info, many had chosen to pay for organized information. So you buy books, pay to attend seminars and workshops and even online courses. You are willing to pay so that you can access the trusted content easily, conveniently and ultimately learn in a more organized way.

Believe it or not, the best or more often the biggest financial lesson learned is through personal experience. I call this the expensive way because you simply can’t expect to get everything right at the first attempt. Some mistakes are really costly.

Think of your first time buying a public listed company share. Think of the your very first property purchase. Imagine the hassle of starting your first business. And I still remember vividly the moment I earned the first dollar online.

I’ve made mistakes along the way. Some cost money. Some cost me time which is impossible to be recovered. What I gain through the mistake is valuable experience. Now I know and learned that there are many ways that doesn’t work.

So what do you think is the best method to learn about personal finance? Should you rely on free info? Should you pay for premium access? Should you just do it and learn from mistake?

The answer is that it all depends on your resources of time and money.
When you don’t have much money, normally for those who just started out, you will prefer to search for free info. If that info is not available, at most you are going to buy books, a report or something similar that’s affordable.

As you progress, you will find that you actually lack the time to try everything. Then you will start appreciate the premium content experts put effort into creating. You will then justify that paying money to attend seminar and courses are worth the time it saves you.

After all, we are willing to pay for getting the return of more time and money, don’t we?
The older you get, the less mistakes you can afford to make.


Personal finance author and trainer

    4 replies to "How you can increase financial literacy with minimum effort"

    • Patricia

      I liked reading your articles….it does enrich my knowledge. 🙂

    • eddi88

      Great post, it is true the best financial lesson is through personal experience.

    • Kim

      Agree, free info need to be analysed before digesting which is time consuming and may not be accurate. Paid seminar and courses provide better guidance and tools. But it still boils down to execution….

      • KCLau

        Kim, thanks for your comment here. If there is no action taken, all the knowledge is just information. I definitely agree with you.

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